American-Style Meals at Your Villa
Even though you are on holiday, sometimes you just want to relax and prepare a meal for the family without having to worry about finding a place to eat. So here’s our handy guide to cooking up a storm in your villa kitchen – American style!
Fancy a lazy, relaxed start to the day? How about cooking up pancakes for everyone? They are far easier to make from scratch than you’d expect, and served up with some fun toppings, they are sure to be a new family favourite!
Here’s a simple recipe that you can try out for perfect fluffy American pancakes in around 20 minutes – you can even eat them at home before your holiday if you can’t wait to try them out! If you don’t fancy making the batter from scratch, you can pick up a convenient packet of pancake mix from the supermarket – it’s not cheating as you are still going to cook the pancakes in the villa!
You will need:
- 120g plain flour (this may be labelled all-purpose flour in US supermarkets)
- 240ml milk
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp melted butter (you can use vegetable oil instead)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Vegetable oil (for cooking the pancakes)
- Toppings to taste – e.g. fresh berries or maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 90°C (200°F) ready to keep your pancakes warm!
Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. In another bowl whisk together the milk, melted butter and egg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir together without over-mixing.
Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and coat with vegetable oil. Scoop out two or three tbsp of the batter mix into the pan for each pancake. After about one minute, when you see bubbles on the surface of the pancake, carefully flip it over and cook for another one or two minutes, until the underside is a golden-brown colour. You should get around 10 pancakes out of this mixture.
Put your pancakes into the oven covered with foil until you are ready to serve them up with a delicious topping of your choice! Why not brew a cup of coffee, or enjoy some fresh Floridian orange juice with them? These are the perfect start to your day and will fill you up, ready to explore the theme parks!
What is a traditional American lunch option? Many American’s opt for a sub-style sandwich, filled with meats and salad. This can be made really easily back in your villa, either to serve up by the pool, or to wrap in tin foil and take out to the parks as a way of saving some money!
Why not try a rotisserie-style chicken filling in your sandwich? You can pick up rolls and meats easily at the supermarket, as well as plenty of healthy salad ingredients. Try shredding the chicken and chopping up some lettuce, tomato, red onion, peppers and cucumbers – it’s as delicious as it is filling!
After a busy day you are sure to have worked up a healthy appetite, so why not spend quality time back at the villa or in the community’s barbecue area cooking alfresco as you chat with family and friends? If your villa doesn’t have a barbecue, you can hire one from us as a villa add-on. It’ll cost you £5 per night, plus a one-off fee of £20, for a minimum of seven nights. Alternatively, check out the community facilities and see if there are barbecue areas available for guest use, the kids can play as you cook!
Chicken wings can be bought from the supermarket and put into the oven to cook while you chop up some celery spears to drizzle with a ranch or blue cheese dressing – whichever you prefer! These make a great accompaniment to the wings, which you can serve up as a starter while waiting for the main meal to cook.
Steaks are a great BBQ option as you will get a decent-sized piece of meat for a bargain-price compared to those available in the UK – why not treat yourself to a rib-eye steak (or two)? Look for steaks that are around 1.25” (3cm) thick, with plenty of marbling to help keep them nice and moist. They’ll only need around four or five minutes each side for a medium rare steak, and don’t forget to let them rest for about five minutes before serving. Burgers are another US food staple, so be sure to put a few on the grill! Stock up on American cheese from the deli counter of the supermarket rather than buying single pre-packed slices. Then add lettuce, tomato, red onion and gherkins with a dash of ketchup and mustard to your burger in a bun, to create a classic mouthwatering all-American favourite! Fancy a surf and turf option? Then try cooking lobster tails as well! Grill some fresh sweetcorn and serve it all up with a refreshing salad, you can even chargrill some lettuce wedges on the BBQ and drizzle them in a dressing if you are feeling adventurous! Got any vegetarians among your party? Halloumi and veg kebabs are a delicious option for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike!
Dessert and Drinks
Room for pudding? Even though apple pie is a traditional American option and you can buy it freshly pre-made from the supermarkets to add to the oven, ice-cream is another great option, and possibly slightly more suitable after such a massive feast! Pop some local craft beer in the fridge to enjoy with your meal (don’t forget, when in the USA alcohol rules are different – drinking in public is a no-no, so maybe best save the drinks for the villa!) – it’s the perfect way to spend a relaxed evening and a great opportunity to enjoy the Florida sun.
However you plan to spend your day, cooking or preparing meals at the villa is a great option for saving a little holiday money, and for enjoying quality time with the family. You can even spend the cash you save on a few souvenirs for those back home! A visit to either Walmart or Publix, the main two supermarkets you are likely to discover near your villa, will be an eye-opener, as you discover all sorts of American foods you’ve never heard of; there is bound to be plenty of food for thought as you peruse the aisles!
What is your go-to American dish to cook up for the family? We’d love to hear what you enjoy when in the States which you can’t get back home – let us know using our social channels!